Parking your car in Swiss towns and cities
Parking in smaller towns is mostly not a problem. Traffic can be complex in the city centers of larger towns though. Streets are narrow, and there's lots of traffic and lots of one way streets. Parking can be hard to find. There's a good alternative: drive to a nearby town or suburb and take the train from there.
Free parking options
Free parking space can mostly be found in the smaller towns or suburbs, for example at shopping centers, hotel car parks (for guests only) or just in the street. Sometimes there is a time limit and you may need to place a parking disc behind the windshield to show the time you parked. Such a disc can be obtained from gas stations. Rental cars should have a disc on board.
Paid parking is the norm in Switzerland, especially around popular places like rail stations, hotels and town centers. Even as a hotel guest, you often need to pay for parking separately. Count on CHF 10 to 50 per day. Parking in the larger cities is quite expensive: up to CHF 4 per hour.
Paying is done in several ways:
- hotel guests can pay for their parking costs during the check-out procedure;
- in public parking garages you'll find machines. Before you leave, you'll have to enter the parking ticket you received when driving in, and you'll pay in cash or with debit/credit card;
- on many parking lots you'll find parking metres. The older versions require Swiss coins. Many are digital though, allowing you to enter the number of your parking lot and pay in cash or by debit/credit card;
- a growing number of parking lots can be paid with mobile apps, linked to your credit card or bank account. You'll have to enter your parking lot and parking duration. Examples of apps used in Switzerland are Park Now, ParkingPay, EasyPark, Sepp and Twint.
Parking at rail stations
You can park your car at over 500 parking lots near rail stations. Most of them are paid. You can use the SBB website or download the SBB P+Rail app in order to select a location and to pay in advance by credit card. You can choose between day passes and payment per hour. Note that many, but not all rail parking facilities are included in the app yet, and that advance payment for any location is not the same as making a reservation. So payment does not guarantee that parking space will actually be available.
Monthly or annual subscriptions for specific locations are available too. You'll have to arrange for them at the station's ticket counter.
HOLIDAY HOMES WITH PARKING
Not all holidays homes have parking at the residence. Find the ones that have here.
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